Should I Let My Rice Cool Before Putting In The Fridge?

Rice is a versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes and meals prepped ahead of time for quick and easy weeknight dinners. But when it's time to store the cooked rice, should you let it cool first or just pop it in the fridge? Let's take a look at the best method below.

When storing cooked rice, it is important to let it cool completely before placing it in the fridge. If you put hot rice into the refrigerator, it will create condensation and make the rice soggy. In addition, the hot rice will raise the temperature of the fridge, which could potentially lead to food spoilage.

While it may not seem like it's important, taking the time to let your rice cool before storing it will ensure that it stays fresh and fluffy. In this article, we will take a close look at why you should let your rice cool before storing it in the fridge. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about cooking and storing rice, so read on!

Woman mixing cooked rice with spoon in saucepan. - Should I Let My Rice Cool Before Putting In The Fridge?

Can You Put Warm Rice In The Fridge?

Versatile and easy to make, rice is a go-to for many home cooks. The great part about rice is that using it as leftovers is often just as good, if not better, than when it was first made. Fried rice, anyone?

Different types of rice are available on the market, from white to brown and everything in between. But no matter what type of rice you choose, the method for cooking and storing it is usually the same. So, whether you're using basmati or jasmine rice, you will want to let it cool before placing it in the fridge.

As we mentioned above, one of the main reasons why you should let your rice cool before storing it is to prevent condensation. When hot rice is placed in the fridge, the moisture in the rice will start to condense on the surface of the grain. This can make your rice soggy, which is obviously not ideal.

Another reason to let your rice cool before storing it is to prevent the rice from raising the temperature of the fridge. As we all know, food spoilage can occur when food is stored at temperatures that are too warm.

In addition, your fridge will have to work harder to cool the hot rice, which could lead to higher energy bills. So not only will you end up with mushy rice, but you'll also end up spending more money!

The bottom line is that it is best to let your rice cool completely before storing it in the fridge. If you're in a hurry, you can spread the rice out on a baking sheet to help speed up the cooling process. Once the rice is cool, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.

White rice in bowl

How Soon After Cooking Can You Put Rice In The Fridge?

If you aren't using your rice right away or are saving it for later in the week, you will need to store it in the fridge. As we mentioned above, it is important to let your rice cool completely before placing it in the fridge. But how long does it take for cooked rice to cool?

Typically, it shouldn't take longer than an hour and a half for rice to reach room temperature. As mentioned earlier, if you're in a hurry, you can speed up the process by spreading the rice out on a baking sheet.

Obviously, this is added work, but it will speed up the cooling process so you can get your rice in the fridge sooner.

How Long Is Rice Good For If Refrigerated?

Typically, cooked rice will last in the fridge for three to four days. Each day the rice is left in the fridge, the dryer and harder it will become. After day three or four, you may want to consider reheating the rice or using it in a dish that will help moisten it up, such as fried rice.

If you are unsure if your rice is still good to eat, you can check for signs of spoilage. First, take a look at the rice and see if there is any mold growing on it. If you see mold, throw the rice away, as it is no longer safe to consume.

Another way to tell if your rice has gone bad is by smelling it. Rice that has gone bad will often have a sour or funky smell to it. If the rice doesn't smell right, it's best to throw it out.

Finally, expired rice will get gooey and sticky. If your rice is starting to get gummy, it's time to toss it.

In general, it's best to err on the side of caution and throw away any rice that you're not sure about. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Can You Eat Old Rice From Fridge?

Depending on how long your rice has been stored in the fridge, it may or may not be safe to eat. As mentioned earlier, the rice should be checked after four days in the fridge.

If your rice is older than four days, it is best to throw it out. However, if you're unsure whether or not your rice is still good, check for any of the telltale signs mentioned earlier.

If the rice doesn't show any of the spoilage signs, then you should be in the clear. It is also said that cold rice can improve stomach function. The high starch content in rice can help to soothe the stomach and can also help to firm up loose stools.

You can also make dishes with cold rice. For example, a poke bowl with rice, fish, and vegetables is a great option. You can also use cold rice to make rice pudding or to make a rice and bean salad.

Add White Rice to the Pan with Stir Fry Kimchi, Cooking Process Making Kimchi Fried Rice in the Kitchen

Can You Freeze Rice?

In addition to storing cooked rice in the fridge, you can also freeze it. This is a great option if you want to meal prep ahead of time or if you have leftovers that you don't think you'll be able to eat within a few days.

When freezing cooked rice, it is again important to let it cool completely before placing it in the freezer. Even though the freezer is colder than the fridge, you still don't want to put hot rice into the freezer, as it will create condensation.

You can also cause the other frozen foods to thaw if you put hot rice into the freezer. So, to avoid any potential problems, let your rice cool completely before freezing it. Once it's cooled, transfer the rice to an airtight freezer-safe container or bag and store it in the freezer for up to six months.

When you want to cook with frozen rice, you can either thaw it or cook it frozen. Sometimes cooking it straight from frozen will result in a little more wateriness, but it will still taste good.

Can You Leave Rice Out Overnight?

Like other foods, cooked rice can go bad if it is left out at room temperature for too long. Usually, the two-hour mark is when food starts to become unsafe to eat.

If you do leave your rice out overnight, it is best to throw it away. The rice will not only be dry and hard, but it could also make you sick.

If you're looking for a way to keep your rice hot and fresh, there are some options available. You can use a slow cooker or a rice cooker to keep your rice warm. You can also put your rice in an oven-safe dish and place it in a low-temperature oven.

What Is The Best Way To Reheat Rice?

Jasmine rice cooking in electric rice cooker with steam on dark background. Soft Focus,

The best way to reheat rice is in the oven or on the stovetop. You can also use a microwave, but the results may not be as good.

When reheating rice, it is important to add moisture back into the dish. This will help to prevent the rice from drying out and becoming hard. One way to do this is to add a little bit of water or broth when reheating.

Another way to add moisture is to add a wet ingredient, such as cooked vegetables or beans. This will help to keep the rice moist and will also add some extra flavor.

If you are using the oven to reheat your rice, you can also add a little bit of butter or oil. This will help to keep the rice from sticking together and will also add some extra flavor.

Woman heating food in microwave oven

Final Thoughts

While it may seem time consuming, letting your rice cool completely before storing it in the fridge is important. This will help to prevent the growth of bacteria and keep your fridge from overworking. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your rice is safe and delicious to eat.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

How To Keep Rice From Drying And Getting Hard In The Fridge

How Long To Cook Rice In A Pot

How Much Water To Cook Rice [1/2 Cup, 1 And 2 Cups]

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